The Gaspar Museum takes its name from a distinguished Arlon family who took up residence in this house at the end of the 19th century. The house itself was built in 1842. The two principal family members, with regard to the museum, are Jean-Marie GASPAR (1861-1931), sculptor, and Charles GASPAR (1871-1950), photographer, collector, and patron of the arts. It was Charles who bequeathed the house, as well as his art collection, to the City of Arlon provided that the city would create a museum in the house to display the sculptures of his brother along with a section displaying Charles’s private collection of the "historical heritage of Arlon". In addition to the permanent collection in the Gaspar salons, the museum regularly organises temporary exhibitions about the Art and History of the Region. Whilst, in a room downstairs, a selection of Religious Art is displayed: the most notable of which is the famous Fisenne Retable (Fisenne Altarpiece) - a masterpiece dating from +/- 1510.
The collections of the Archaeology Museum are testament to the rich history of the region and, especially, its significant place in Gallo-Roman civilisation. The museum’s ‘lapidary’ galleries are considered to be amongst the most important in Europe: These bas-reliefs, along with the collection of handicraft and everyday objects (pottery, glass, tools, arms, jewellery…..) serve to give a detailed image of how life was lived by the peoples of the region during the first 3 centuries of our era. At this time, what is now the city of Arlon was called ‘Orolaunum vicus’ and was part of an administrative unit governed from the city of ‘Civitas Treverorum’ (modern day Trier)in the province of Belgian Gaul. Amongst the bas-reliefs in the museum are some which are unique and which contribute significantly to our understanding of the Roman civilisation: this is especially the case with the sculpted fragment picturing the ‘Roman harvesting machine’. This Gallic invention was adopted by the Romans, and is referred to by Pliny the Elder in his work “Naturalis Historia” written in the first century AD. Other bas-reliefs, such as “The Voyagers», are simply examples of fine craftsmanship reflecting great aesthetic qualities.
The museum also houses an important Merovingian section. The Merovingian (or Frankish) dynasty ruled Gaul and western Germany from about 500 to 751 AD. The displays consist mainly of funerary offerings found in the tombs of Merovingian nobles discovered in Arlon and surrounding areas and include brooches, gold rings and double-edged swords – some highly decorated (‘damassées’). Come and enjoy this museum and discover the secrets of the world of the Gallo-Roman civilisation!
Gaspar Museum :
Tel.: +32 (0)63 60 06 54
Museum of Archaeology :
Tel.: +32 (0)63 21 48 49
Opening hours of the museums: Tuesday to Saturday 9.00 - 12.00 and 13.30 - 17.30.
*On summer Sundays (mid-April to mid-September) the museums are open 13.30 - 17.30.*
The museums are closed on Mondays and during the Christmas holidays.